When it comes to off-the-wall style, Young Thug never fails to disappoint. Though his fashion choices are pretty polarizing, he clearly marches to the beat of his own drum, and doesn’t really give a fuck what anyone thinks about it.
When his Rodeo Tour stopped in NYC last month, Thug showed off another head-turning piece. No, it wasn’t another dress. It was an elaborate 3M poncho. The piece was a bold fusion of technical design and traditional garments that had many people wondering, “Who created that fire joint?”
Well, The Fader linked up with the minds behind the design and found out the origins of the poncho. It turns out that Elijah Trinidad, the art director for Thug’s record label, was the co-designer. He says the piece was a last-minute decision. He and his design partner were tasked with creating a vampire-like coat for the NYC stop. Needless to say, the coat was never completed, but they still needed to assemble some sort of standout piece for the show. So, Trinidad tells The Fader, he and his partner locked themselves in a room looking for inspiration, anything that went along with the rodeo theme. They looked at old Marlboro Man photography, Texas denim pictures, and Clint Eastwood’s ensemble in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It was the latter source that sparked the idea of a poncho.
“The thing is, it really doesn't matter what artists wear on stage—they can wear space suits if they want. We thought that a poncho would go with the rodeo theme and that Thugga would fuck with it,” Trinidad said. “I took Eastwood's original poncho design and flipped it to incorporate the 300 logo and the Young Stoner logo on the side. We needed to incorporate something a bit more Thugga, so we threw in the skull that Othello created.”
But they weren’t sure how to execute it. Due to time and money, they couldn’t screen print or embroider the piece, so they decided to use reflective printing. Of course, they worried the tape wouldn’t stick to the poncho as it was made from 100 percent Alpaca, but thanks to the meticulous craftsmanship, it all worked out.
“Literally every piece of 3M was hand-placed and laid out on the poncho. We did a direct-to-garment transfer for the skull design. Every step of the production was like thin ice,” Trinidad said. “We tested the 3M on the inside and it looked good. Then we tested it on the outside, and the plastic almost melted onto it. We were like, ‘FUCK! This is the only one we have; we can't do anything else to it.’ But it ended up working, because it looked antiqued and vintage, roughened.”
The next night, Thugger took the stage in NYC and rocked the poncho with nothing under. And up until last week, the rapper was still using the garment, which had endured a lot of wear damage, but looked just as fly as it did at the concert.